The Lake District is one of my favourite places to visit in the UK, so when I was offered the chance to stay at the Queens Head Hotel in Troutbeck, near Windermere, for the night, I jumped at the opportunity.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes the Queens Head has re-opened its doors to the public following a blaze in 2014 which devastated the popular Inn.
On entering the hotel on a typical winters days night, wind, rain and a cold blustery wind I was greeted by the warmth of the open fireplace crackling away with the smells of the coal burning away instantly warming my body up, the iconic bar which was made from a 4-poster bed in a 17th-century coaching inn is the first thing to see when you enter, it's spectacular - and serves plenty of fine ales to boot!
Renowned for serving some of the finest food in the area, I was looking forward to my dinner, having only had a can of soup earlier in the day, my stomach was ready for some classic pub food, and boy, the Queens Head chef didn't disappoint!
For starters I opted for the Seafood Chowder, it was just delicious, the prawns and mussels in particular sent my taste buds into a frazzle, with the crusty bread at the side proving more than useful for soaking up the rest of the dish.
After being allowed a reasonable amount of time to let the starter settle my main selected off the specials board was a Hearty Cumberland Stew, which again couldn't be faulted, plenty of Cumberland sausage with big chunks of carrots mixed in with peas, perfect for a winters nights, proper pub grub.
Following such hearty food, my stomach couldn't handle one of their many scrumptious sounding desserts, so I just settled for some chocolate ice-cream, which was good, but let's be honest, it's hard to get ice cream wrong.
Now it was time to settle into my surroundings near the crackling fire and enjoy a Robinsons Unicorn, which being a Golden Ale, was always going to right up my street and so it proved, just lovely.
Knowing I had an early start ahead in the morning, I set off to my impressive sized bedroom with king sized bed and after a coffee settled in for a comfortable nights sleep.
Following a powerful shower I headed down for breakfast, coffee, croissants and a sausage butty later, I was all ready to say goodbye to the Queens Head Hotel and head into the cold for a walk recommended to me by the barman around Troutbeck Tongue.
The walk handily starts literally across the road from the hotel and down into the valley of Troutbeck, once through the valley you turn and are greeted to the gorgeous site of Threshthwaite Mouth, which despite it being a bit of a scramble that left me breathless shows off some spectacular views of Windermere, even in quite overcast conditions I was taken aback by just how beautiful everything looked from the top.
After a walk down an old Roman path the walk takes you back towards Troutbeck before turning off and out to Town End, the walk ends with a steep climb down some deterioted steps, but it's nothing to untoward before ending at Troutbeck, Jesus Church, a prayer for my feet was thankfully not needed.
Following some lunch in nearby Windermere I headed back home to reminisce about another wonderful trip out into the Lake District, though sadly my bed paled into some insignificance when compared to my previous nights sleep at the Queens Head Hotel.
For more information visit: www.queensheadtroutbeck.pub